Times sports staff land plum positions

Times editor Robert Thomson was “surprised and delighted” by the estimated sales figure last Saturday for his new compact newspaper – 18.8 per cent up week-on-week to around 850,000.

Sales were no doubt helped by television promotion and the offer of a free DVD of A Private Function but changing the hitherto broadsheet Saturday edition with all its many sections into a compact, was seen as a real test for the tabloid Times.

Meanwhile, Thomson has turned his attention to staffing matters, with sports staff picking up some plum posts. He has promoted head of sport Keith Blackmore to executive editor – a new post – which involves Blackmore in working across the whole paper. He takes up this role in the New Year.

And he has made sports editor David Chappell deputy managing editor to Anne Spackman, herself recently promoted from the property section.

Gerry Taylor, who was deputy managing editor, will work on project development for parent company News International.

Thomson said: “Keith and his department have made The Times the clear winner for sports coverage. He has gathered a team of reporters and writers who, day after day, have trounced the opposition.”

Spackman’s replacement as property editor is Catherine Riley, deputy football editor.

She will take up her new post in January when she returns from maternity leave and will be responsible for Bricks and Mortar, the weekly property supplement.

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